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Statement About the Report of the National Tourism Resources Review Commission

June 28, 1973

IN 1971, I appointed the National Tourism Resources Review Commission to undertake the first comprehensive study ever made of tourism in America. Its Chairman was the former Secretary of the Navy, Charles S. Thomas.

Today I have had the pleasure of meeting with Mr. Thomas and receiving the Commission's report. This document, "Destination USA," should better enable us to comprehend the vast potential of tourism, a massive and underestimated force in our economic and social life. The report finds, for example:

--That tourism spending by Americans in 1970 totaled $50 billion, a too percent increase over 1960;

--That by 1980 that figure could more than double again to a projected $127 billion;

--And that international tourism is a significant factor in world trade. In recent years some $3 billion has been added to the United States balance of payments deficit by the spending of American tourists abroad.

It is estimated that Americans took 361.2 million trips here and abroad in 1967, the last year in which a travel census count was taken, and we know the figure is much higher today. As tourism continues to expand, our parks, lakes, seashores, and forests, as well as facilities for lodging, food, and transportation, will all come under increasing demand. To protect them, and especially our natural resources, we must respond with balanced and farsighted programs.

The current organization of Government resources to cope with American tourism must also be improved. Accordingly, the law that established the Commission directed that a major analysis be undertaken to define the Federal role in tourism.

To reach the goals of better development of our vast tourism resources and more efficient Federal administration of tourism, the Commission has recommended creation of a National Tourism Administration in the Department of Commerce. This proposal will receive careful consideration.

After briefly reviewing this report, I believe the excellent efforts of the National Tourism Resources Review Commission are to be commended, especially the dedication and diligent efforts of Chairman Thomas.

In a radio address to the Nation last July Fourth, I looked towards America's Bicentennial celebration and invited the citizens of all countries to come share with Americans in our festivities. I renew that invitation today in light of this report on tourism. As we consider the future of tourism in the United States, it is especially fitting that we not lose sight of the importance of playing host to the world when we honor our rich past.

Note: The 6-volume report is entitled "Destination USA: Report of the National Tourism Resources Review Commission" (Government Printing Office).

The statement was released at San Clemente, Calif.

Richard Nixon, Statement About the Report of the National Tourism Resources Review Commission Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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